Republicans Be Like…

Modern Conservative Republicans be like:
 
“You can’t judge all gun owners by the actions of a few bad.”
 
They  also be like:
 
“You can’t let those Syrian refugees in here! One might be a terrorist!”
 
And like: 

“We can’t take any more immigrants, one might be member of a drug gang!”

Trump’s Republicans be like:  Six people died from vaping, so we need to outlaw flavors.

They  also be like:  “How dare Michelle Obama try to force healthy school lunches on our kids?” and “You can’t outlaw Super Big Gulps and cigarettes!  It’s our choice if we wanna risk getting cancer or getting fat!”

Modern Republicans be like:  “You can’t ban guns! Ban’s don’t work! Just look  at the ‘war on drugs!'”  and “Criminals don’t follow laws,”
But then:  “We need to ban abortion to protect the unborn babies!
And THEN: “If they outlaw guns, I’ll become an outlaw!”
And also like: : “If they don’t want to lose their kids or see them in cases they shouldn’t have broke the law”
And like:  “Sanctity of life!”
But also like: “Why didn’t he do what the officer said?!”
Modern Republicans be like: “Any guns we want in any volume is our second Amendment right!”

But also: “A woman gives up the right to privacy and to make decisions to her own body (14th Amendment)  when she gets pregnant!”
And: “OUR Freedom of Religion allows us to violate other people’s rights to not be discriminated against, and to refuse service to people whose lifestyle we don’t agree with.

But:  “It’s not fair that we get harrassed for wearing our Trump hats and expressing our political ideas!”

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And after all of that, they turn around and try to paint the left as melodramatic, pushy,  “politically correct” hypocrites.  Yeah, okay.
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“Religious Freedom,” or just plain old Discrimination?

George Takei posted this on his Facebook page today.

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This is just to reiterate; you can’t pass legislation that is fundamentally against the constitution.

This is bullshit.  Your rights only go as far as until they infringe on someone else’s.  Being gay and patronizing a restaurant, for instance, does not infringe on the owner’s “religious” rights (There is no legal right to discriminate against anyone– it’s unconstitutional.)  However, refusing to serve someone because they are gay is discrimination and is ILLEGAL…

Discrimination, by any other name…is still against the Constitution

I find it distressing that in the current social climate of America, it is now “politically incorrect” to deny someone the right to be a dick to others…

If you have any doubts, in Arizona, the argument now is not about gay people’s rights to be served and treated like everyone else.  It is about restaurant owner’s rights to use their religion as an excuse to discriminate.  I’m pretty sure even if the bible was interpreted to be against homosexuality, that still would not give followers of the bible the right to treat gay people poorly.

But living in a pluralistic society that also grants freedom and civil rights protection to those with whom one disagrees is not the same as religious persecution. And crying persecution every time one doesn’t get one’s way is an insult to the very real religious persecution happening in the world today.

The above is a quote from an excellent article.  Whether Christian or not, I suggest everyone read it.  This principal can be applied to anyone using their beliefs as platform from which to actively discriminate against others.

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We the Underdogs: Capitalism and Democracy

I think most of America’s problems stem from two things.

Firstly, we are supposedly a capitalist country and democratic republic.  And yet, it seems as if capitalism and democracy, by their very nature, are diametrically opposed. Until the people that are supposed to represent us stop taking campaign money from business lobbyists and religious organizations, we can never hope to realize the freedoms we thought our constitution protected.

Capitalism is (supposedly/ideally) is a social system based on the principle of individual rights. Politically, it is the system of laissez-faire (freedom). Legally it is a system of objective laws (rule of law as opposed to rule of man). Economically, when such freedom is applied to the sphere of production its’ result is the free-market.(source)

Closer to the truth of the matter, yet still idealistic, may be the Wikipedia definition:

An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital assets and goods. In a capitalist economy, investors are free to buy, sell, produce, and distribute goods and services with at most limited government control, at prices determined primarily by a competition for profit in a free market. Central elements of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, and a price system.

What capitalism seems to mean in America now, though, is closer to Jafar’s idea of the golden rule:

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It feels like everything is crony capitalism,

I found it rather interesting (in a sad and ironic way) how Ayn Rand described capitalism.

When I say “capitalism,” I mean a full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism—with a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.

That’s all swell, but we really don’t have separation of church and state either. But this will never stop until politicians are disallowed from taking campaign money from lobbyists and churches. Until that happens, politicians will always be more influenced by what their contributors want then by what the people want.  Some people debate the meaning of the “separation of church and state” mentioned in constitution.  Some people, myself included, feel that parts of the constitution are obsolete. Sacrilege!  But I do wonder, how “ironclad” can it be if it can be “amended” so much?  I think regardless of what was intended then, I think today one can not write legislation for a whole country based on one religion, and with many politicians in the church’s pocket, that’s pretty much exactly what’s happening (think about how they’re trying to jam prayer back into school and force women’s reproductive rights issues.)

Anyway, it’s my opinion…my belief…that between the capitalism that keeps the poor poor–

Attempts at eliminating minimum wage and claiming it will “help” the poor (one can only guess at the ass backwards logic behind that one).  Forcing taxpayers to subsidize their profits by footing the bill for all the Walmart employees  on welfare or food stamps as a result of their pitifully inadequate wages, and let’s not forget the government bailing out Big Business–

–and the religious conservatives bent on forcing us all to follow their rules and code of morality through legislation (lobbyists giving money to influence representatives…and here money comes into play again) the majority of America is in a stranglehold.  Basically, if we’re not CEOs of the gas companies, we’re the schmucks who pay 3.69 a gallon because we have no real recourse.  After all,  our representatives’ campaigns are probably being financed by the gas company.  This is a very simplistic generalization, but you see what I’m getting at, and I am not the only person who feels the weight of being low man on the totem…    

Let me finish up by leaving you with another Ayn Rand quote to think on:

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.

Yup…we’re doomed.

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One Nation, 313.9 Million Opinions….

I’ve been embroiled in a pretty irritating (and endlessly ongoing) debate on social media lately, especially amid all the DOMA stuff and rampant, misinformed patriotism going on…

“One nation UNDER GOD!”  ‘Murica!

Was our nation founded on “biblical” ideas, or the idea of religious freedom?

As I research, it seems there are conflicting ideas at work even as the country was founded.  According to some sources, the country was founded by settlers fleeing the “tyranny” of the Church of England, for the purpose of being free to worship God how they felt fit.  SO in that sense, you could say the US was founded on biblical beliefs…

And yet, in OUR CONSTITUTION, it expressly states that

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; […]and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Apparently, the word “Christianity” does not appear in the constitution.  Now, I’m not sure about the word “bible.”  But when it comes to the constitution, a lot of people (conservatives…eek!)  are especially fond of quoting the part about the right to bear arms, but not so interested in upholding the “no law respecting an establishment of religion” part.

To word the initial question in a different way… was this country founded on religious freedom, or merely the “freedom” to be Christian?

And apparently the sad truth is that some states have constitutions that forbid atheists from holding public offices.  You have to declare at least a belief in God.  This seems to be in direct contrast to the  idea of separation of church and state posed at the federal level, and while I admit a fairly rudimentary knowledge of politics, it’s been ingrained in my head since grade school that the states were not supposed to pass any laws that violated federal law.  Somehow, there are many laws today that get around that somehow.

What I don’t understand is why it’s so difficult for anybody to just leave others alone.  Still there are some people that insist this country is going to shit simply because things are not being done their way, whether that be with religion infused into everything or because gay people are allowed to marry, or…whatever!

Now, I had been requested by a close friend to “research” this further before rendering an opinion.  While I don’t have hours to go through the constitution line by line right now, I’ll admit there seems to be conflicting ideas as to what this country is founded on, depending on where you look.  But… what I am not conflicted on is the idea that people have “adapted” both the constitution and the Bible to fit more into their modern lives.  Whether it be gun laws, laws and mores governing divorce, the use of birth control, etc, there are may passages that are interpreted only “loosely” or in a way that is more palatable to the morals we’ve actually internalized.  My point is, while either or both of these texts might be good guidelines for how to live your life, as society and the human species changes, ideas need to change with it.  For instance, the ideas of continuation of species, identification of parentage , reproductive survival, etc, may have been served better at one time by the ideas of marriage as between “one man ad one woman.”  Historically speaking:

In Comanche society, married women work harder, lose sexual freedom, and do not seem to obtain any benefit from marriage. But nubile women are a source of jealousy and strife in the tribe, so they are given little choice other than to get married. “In almost all societies, access to women is institutionalized in some way so as to moderate the intensity of this competition. (wikipedia)

But now that model is not nearly as relevant, in an over-populated world where reproductive technology allows even single or infertile people to have children if they want.

Please don’t take this as an attack on religion.  While I do not personally ascribe to any, I would not deny someone else their beliefs. But for the love of God (see what I did there? ) stop trying to use it to write or keep laws for a nation that is not any one religion!  There are 313 million people in the US, and they don’t all think like you.  The real idea behind America is supposed to be that they don’t have to.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-meyerson/religious-freedom-in-americas-founding-moments-_b_1632067.html

 

EDIT: 7/18/13  This clears things up some, for me anyway.  http://inphasemag.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/separation-of-church-and-state-is-in-the-constitution/comment-page-1/